Feb 17, 2023

Kip McKean Pressured Mom to Not Tell Police Her 3 Year Old Was Molested by ICOC; 9 Years Later, America's Most Wanted Helped Capture

"The Abuse and Torture of Jane Roe 8"

It does not get much worse than this. 

As detailed in the court documents’ text included below, a three-year-old girl was sexually molested by her Kingdom Kids teacher while at a midweek service of the Los Angeles International Church of Christ.

Multiple ICOC leaders, including Kip McKean himself, pressured the girl’s mother (apparently a paid ICOC staff member no less) to not report the child molester to the police. 

You know, because it would “hurt the church.” 

As a result of Kip’s pressure, and the pressure of other powerful ICOC figures who were categorically under Kip’s influence and direction, this child molester was never reported and therefore walked free. 

Since was not turned over to the police as required by law, he was free to continue to molest many, many other children, in the same ministry of the LA ICOC, in other cities in California, and later in several other states. 

In fact, he became such a notorious criminal that he was actually featured on the TV show America’s Most Wanted, which helped lead to his capture. 

This man, a “well-liked” member of the ICOC, was convicted of child molestation in three different states in addition to the crimes he had previously committed in California.

He abused countless victims over a period of nine years between when he molested that three-year-old at an LA ICOC midweek service and when he was ultimately caught. 

Several mothers reported to ICOC leadership that this same man had molested their daughters. However, he was allowed to escape and travel to other cities and states to continue abusing. 

He is now serving 40 years of hard labor, the maximum sentence in Louisiana. 

And "Dr" Kip McKean, the guy who helped him avoid being turned over to the police way back at the beginning? 

(Note that the court documents contain accusations of multiple instances where Kip intervened to protect sexual predators from prosecution by the police, over a period spanning decades.)

Oddly enough, Kip is a free man, up front at church every week, being paid very well to talk to people about righteousness and God.


Following is text lifted directly from the court documents so you can read the details for yourself (bolding is mine): 

In 1996, when Jane Roe 8 was 3 years old and her parents were members of the East Region Los Angeles ICOC, she was molested by David Saracino, a regular Kids Kingdom worker and well liked ICOC member. 

The molestation incident happened when Jane Roe 8 was in the Kids Kingdom ministry during a midweek church service. When Jane Roe 8 went home that evening, she told her mother that a man in Kids Kingdom had taken her into the closet, and did things to her “butt”, and her “private parts” hurt badly. Her mother talked with Jane Roe 8 about what happened and her mother was visibly upset and infuriated. Jane Roe 8’s mother immediately called the leaders of the East Region, Steve and Jacqueline Gansert-Morici. 

Steve and Jacqueline asked her to not call the police to report the molestation of her 3-year-old daughter and said they first needed advice from the overseeing Elders, Bruce and Robin Williams. 

By 8:30 a.m. the next day, Jane Roe 8’s mother received a call from John Bringardner, a California attorney and ICOC ministry leader, who had been recently hired as General Counsel for ICOC. 

To Jane Doe 8’s mother’s complete surprise, attorney John Bringardner warned her that reporting this type of child abuse to the police or authorities would be a “huge mistake,” and would further traumatize Jane Roe 8. He explained that the police might remove the child from the home while the investigation was happening, and the child might be further molested while in foster care. He further reasoned that disclosing the child molestation to the police could cause people to lose their faith and leave God’s true church

John Bringardner manipulated Jane Roe 8’s mother into silence by also telling her, if the church endured a scandal and could not “make budget” as a result, she would lose her full-time job in the ministry and ultimately, the downfall of the church would be her fault

Attorney John Bringardner framed his advice to Jane Roe 8’s mother as though he wanted to protect the family’s best interests and shield the child from additional trauma. He also used guilt to silence Jane Roe 8’s mother by making insulting statements, such as a “wise mother” would not subject her small child to a traumatic recounting of events that would inevitably occur after the authorities were notified. Attorney John Bringardner concluded this conversation by promising to personally conduct an investigation regarding the abuse of Jane Roe 8. The ensuing events were nothing short of a nightmare. 

Raul Dunn, the East 8 Region Kids Kingdom leader and a non-staff layperson, called Jane Roe 8’s mother and 9 said, “We asked the two male Kids Kingdom workers, this question: ‘Did you molest a kid last night in Kids Kingdom?’” The two male workers were the only male workers the day Jane Roe 8 was molested and, of course, they denied molesting Jane Roe 8. 

Raul Dunn told Jane Roe 8’s mother, “Your daughter was not molested, we asked the workers, and they said, no, so she must have been mistaken.” Jane Roe 8’s mother was furious and when she inquired why no one was investigating her child’s horrific abuse during a church service, Steve Gansert-Morici deflected and told her that he asked Raul Dunn to investigate the incident. 

Attorney John Bringardner called Jane Roe 8’s mother often for several weeks under the pretense of calling to “check on their family to see how they were doing.” 

In reality, he was keeping tabs on the family to ensure they never told anyone outside ICOC about Jane Roe 8’s abuse at the hands of David Saracino. 

Jane Roe 8’s mother requested an opportunity for her daughter to see both men and indicate which assaulted her, however, attorney John Bringardner refused the request and had no interest in learning which man horrifically abused the innocent child

Attorney John Bringardner said that since both brothers (i.e., the two male workers) swore they did not abuse Jane Roe 8, he was not comfortable subjecting them to such treatment

Jane Roe 8’s mother was upset and disappointed with the church’s inaction, so she created an opportunity for Jane Roe 8 to identify which “brother” molested her. That Sunday, Jane Roe 8 and her mother stood behind a two-way mirror at the East Region Los Angeles ICOC building to try and identify her assailant, but Jane Roe 8 became so nervous and fearful that she was unable to look at both men and buried her head in her mom’s torso. As a result of her crippling fear, no definitive identification of the assailant was made, although Jane Roe 8 knew his identity at the time. Jane Roe 8’s mother relayed this development to Steve and Jacqueline Gansert-Morici. Steve responded in an “I told you so” manner, and ultimately told her to forgive the man and move on

Defendants, and specifically, Attorney John Bringardner and Steve and Jacqueline Gansert-Morici bullied, intimidated and manipulated Jane Roe 8’s parents, and convinced the family that reporting the crime to the authorities was wrong and would create eternal consequences

On information and belief, Attorney John Bringardner asked both of the male workers, David Saracino and one other member, to visit the ICOC’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters office and write formal statements regarding the incidents of that fateful day. Jane Roe 8’s mother was never allowed to review their statements. 

Five days after Jane Roe 8 was abused, her mother was at a church staff meeting in Hollywood at a church owned facility called the “Upside Down Club.” 

After the staff meeting at the Upside-Down Club, she was called downstairs to participate in a meeting with attorney John Bringardner, Bruce and Robin Williams (ICOC Elders), and Steve and Jacqueline Gansert-Morici, to discuss the next steps in the ICOC led “investigation”. The Gansert-Morici’s were “discipled” by Bruce and Robin Williams, which meant the Gansert-Moricis answered to Bruce and Robin and sought their advice regarding all church related issues, including the molestation of Jane Roe 8. 

During the meeting, Kip McKean approached the group, isolated Jane Roe 8’s mother and gave her a tight, seemingly compassionate hug. 

McKean stated that he was so proud of her for not going to the police, and made the statements: 

“I’m so sorry for what you’re going through, but if the police get a hold of this story, they will twist this story around and use it to destroy God's church. Then innocent members of our church will lose their salvation. I commend you for doing the Godly thing and allowing us to handle it. On behalf of God’s church, I am grateful for your faith sister, and I promise you that you did the right thing here.” 

Approximately three weeks later, attorney John Bringardner communicated to Jane Roe 8’s parents that because they reported the abuse to ICOC leaders, significant changes were forthcoming in Kids Kingdom. Specifically, they implemented a “2 adults always” rule whereby no one person was allowed to be alone with a child during Kids Kingdom. 

Attorney John Bringardner told Jane Roe 8’s mother, “Because you did not contact the police, we were able to make the Kingdom of God safer”.

Jane Roe 8’s mother was deeply disturbed as the Gansert-Morici’s again refused to warn the congregation about her daughter’s molestation, or to check in with the other ICOC children in Kids Kingdom to determine if more abuse had occurred

Approximately one year after Jane Roe 8’s abuse, another mother in the Los Angeles East Region discovered that her child was also molested by David Saracino and reported it to Steve Gansert-Morici and Rob and Connie Kosberg. 

Steve suggested she call Jane Roe 8’s mother, presumably in hopes of Jane Roe 8’s mother convincing the mother to refrain from reporting the abuse to the police

Jane Roe 8’s family was utterly shocked and horrified to learn that David Saracino abused another child. Jane Roe 8’s mother did not comply with Defendants’ “advice” to further manipulate this woman, and advised the woman to immediately call the police because David Saracino had a history of abusing children in the church. 

Because ICOC leaders refused to report David Saracino’s child abuse to the authorities, this deplorable predator escaped to San Diego where he abused many more children until he was eventually captured in 2005 after appearing on an episode of America’s Most Wanted. 

Defendants helped David Saracino evade authorities by giving him refuge in various ICOC locations, and not alerting those congregations, thereby enabling him to continue abusing innocent children with impunity for 9 years after Jane Roe 8 was molested.

In January 2012, David Saracino was sentenced to 40 years of hard labor in the State of Louisiana, the maximum sentence, for forcible rape upon a 4-year-old girl in 2004

The prosecutor, Cynthia Guillory, told the judge that he was among the worst of the worst. Mr. Saracino purposefully sought out women who were vulnerable and struggling financially so he could gain access to and victimize their young children. 

Mr. Saracino faced charges and convictions in Texas, Utah and Louisiana, where he received the 40-year sentence. 

Mr. Saracino attended the East Region of the LA ICOC, where several members (single mothers) of the ICOC reported to the leaders in the East Region in or about 1998 that David Saracino had continuously molested their daughters

Ultimately, several police reports were filed by the parents, while the ICOC remained silent.

Just as the ICOC did nothing to address these reports while David escaped to the San Diego ICOC and freely resided in the Escondido area temporarily. Like so many others, these mothers were told not to share with anyone else what David had done, as it would “hurt the church.” 

David ultimately disappeared uncaptured. David was free to go on a nationwide crime spree, abusing and raping little girls along the way

David was finally caught, but only after an episode of America’s Most Wanted produced credible leads that resulted in his capture

Had ICOC assisted in his arrest or alerted their congregations, David Saracino could not have continued abusing children with reckless abandon. 

ICOC’s commitment to abject apathy is sickening and clearly intentional.

Feb 8, 2023

Kip McKean's Propaganda Machine Spews Lies About ICC Sex Abuse Cases. But Kip's Own Words Reveal the Ugly Truth

Luke my friend, you have really let me down. 

I saw the video that you did where you downplayed the role of the church in covering up the sexual crimes that were committed. The church cares about the victims? I know you know that is completely false. 

I bet when you and I were roommates back in the day you did not envision yourself in the future making videos to cover for pedophiles, rapists, and those who aided and abetted them. 

And yet here you are. 

Church Employees LIE Through their Teeth & Claim the the ICC Cares about Sex Abuse Victims (video clip pasted to Facebook by a former ICC minister and brother to one of the abuse victims) 

Sadly, the truth is QUITE the opposite. 

Now let's compare that to words attributed to "Dr" Kip McKean himself, straight out of the court filings: 

“We cannot report these abuses, because it would hurt our church, which is God’s Modern-Day Movement.” 

“Do you want the fall of God’s modern-day movement on your head???!!” 

“The cause of protecting God’s Kingdom on earth is more important than the sin or the pain of a few individuals.” 

“We need to forgive our brothers who sin and realize that they are a new creation in Christ, and give them a chance to make things right. If we report them, it will destroy their lives and hurt the church.”

So there you have it. Kip telling people to break the law. Kip telling people to not report sexual abusers to the authorities as the are legally required to do. Ministers like Kip are mandated reporters. It looks like he never performed the mandated reporting. Just as bad or even worse, and then directed others to also fail to report sex crimes. (And as good "disciples," they obeyed Kip and NO-ONE in ICOC leadership or other mandated roles reported like they were required - including ICOC doctors.) 

"A person who fails to make a required report is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine (California Penal Code Section 11166[c])"

As a result of Kip and Kip's followers not reporting sexual abuse as the law requires, sexual abusers went on to abuse again and again. More than one person went on - AFTER getting caught and then being let off the hook in the ICOC and/or ICC - to later commit child rapes. 

These teachings led to children being raped. 

This is not an exaggeration. It is a simple statement of fact. 

Kip: "We cannot report these abuses, because it would hurt our church." 

Well, we certainly couldn't have THAT now, could we? 

Which would you choose? 1. The public image of the ICC vs 2. the violated. innocent. bodies. of "the least of these." 

Clearly, ICC chose "the public image of the ICC." And not just once. Many, many times, as evidenced in the court filings. You could even say that it was standard church policy. 

The lawsuits allege "There are at least 4 known pedophiles who were allowed to run rampant within the churches without any notification to the congregation that their children were in danger." (And then go on to give stomach-churning details), 

By having church staff put out video messages downplaying the role of the church, the ICC is showing us, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are willing to lie about what happened, and their priority is still 100% "the public image of the ICC." 

Believe you me, we would NOT be hearing about this topic of sexual abuse in the ICC if it were not for the court cases forcing the conversation. The ICC, with Kip McKean sitting at the top and calling the shots, would have continued to remain silent on this issue, and just order victims to continue to forgive their abusers, and continue to enable the abusers to continue creating more victims. 

The more the truth comes out, the more I realize how far "the public image of the ICC" is from "the reality of the ICC." 

Let's hope for justice in these civil court cases and any future criminal cases. We know from recent years in public discourse oh, how the mighty can fall. 

Feb 7, 2023

Full Text of ICOC and ICC Lawsuits Posted With Heart-Wrenching Abuse Details

If you want to read the text of the various lawsuits against Kip McKean's International Christian Church and former church International Churches of Christ, you may now do so here:

>> ICOC-ICC Lawsuits dot com 

Thanks to the hardworking ladies that made accessing those documents a reality. 

I tried to look those court documents up on my own through the official court website and the process was not intuitive at all. So very helpful that these are here for everyone to access readily.  Also, if you know any more victims out there, contact info for the legal team is included. I know that there are a whole lot of people suffering lifelong wounds out there from the church's actions and it is only fair to take them to court. Plus every case makes it less likely that the church will allow it to happen again. Lots of names are named in those documents. Nobody wants their names coming up in there (either as victims, abusers, or as those helping the abusers.) 

Definitely a lot of heart-wrenching details in those court filings. 

The documents there name names and definitely portray Kip as a veritable piece of donkey dung. He literally reasons out loud that child rape victims should suffer in silence for the greater good of "the kingdom." However, as any person with two working neurons could tell you, silencing sex abuse victims works most for the greater good of "sexual abusers." As in many, many cases of church members who committed heinous acts of sexual abuse and rape against minors and other vulnerable people ("the least of these"), as anyone could have predicted, went on to abuse more and more victims. Some of these individuals are now convicted sex offender felons. But not thanks to Kip McKean or anyone under his direction! After abusing God only knows how many "Kingdom kids" they then went on to abuse kids outside of the group. And when they got caught, the adults did what any decent person would do - report the abusers to the police, who finally locked them up. 

Interestingly, there is a name and a photo of someone in the Portland ICC, which was led by Kip himself, who apparently raped multiple minor girls and is not only still not in prison, but is of last notice still a "member in good standing" in the same church where he was abusing kids! The lawsuit alleges that Kip personally knew of the case of this sex abuser and stood by doing nothing.

If there is a hell, there is most assuredly a very, very hot section set aside just for Kip McKean. 

Jan 31, 2023

ICOC Evangelists Publicly Describe Chain of Gay Sex Abuse in Central ICOC Leadership - "The Movement's Original Sin"

My jaw dropped when I heard these words from a podcast where Steven Leslie Johnson, who was basically Kip McKean's right-hand man in the ICOC and who also was at the top of the payroll at HOPE WorldWide and overall one of the very tippy-top leaders in the entire International Churches of Christ (and momentarily with the International Christian Church as well) was sitting down with another ICOC evangelist (and ICOC historian), James Lloyd. Both of these two men were in the group of "thirty would-be disciples" that started the Boston movement with Kip and were right there as witnesses to the chain of sex abuse right from the start. 

(Link to the podcast here)

Sitting there with Steve Johnson, James Lloyd states: 

“The truth is that the foundational “original sin” of our movement was homosexual sin. Man on man, specifically a male older leader, on young interns. And not just a few times—you can find out, it’s not like nobody knows. The fact that our original sin was a senior leader (Lucas) who is respected and loved and training a group of young men—As the leader gets them in a room and shuts the door and this leader (Lucas) ‘puts the moves’ on these young men. And it’s worse than it sounds because those men then became ministers (perpetrators) and went out into their churches and did the same things to others— and I know that personally, because I was in some of those meetings where it was confessed.

“They thought it was best not to share this with anybody, and I bought into those reasons. They would say things like, ‘He’s got children, he’s got a wife, you can’t just say those things out loud, it could hurt the faith of a young Christian.’ All these things are just the hierarchy and patriarchy saying that we don’t need to bring this thing up about ‘man on man.’ And I don’t personally think that this sin is any different than if it was between a man and a woman by the way— I’m only calling it sin because they weren’t married.

“But the real sin here is that we (church) hid it. People should be taught that this is how our group started. And some of that (sin) has continued for three generations. Some of that trauma was carried on, was passed on to other men as they went out into other (ICOC) churches.”

With no disagreement from Steve, whose silence obviously shows that he knows that what James is saying is true. 

So here we have ICOC leaders publicly discussing THREE GENERATIONS of sex abuse originating in central ICOC leadership!

AND, we have ICOC leaders publicly stating that the ICOC leadership COVERED UP those acts of sexual abuse! 


How many times was it? "A few" would mean three, maybe five. So NOT "just a few" meant a whole bunch of guys, and a whole bunch of times. 

Let's also remember that ministers and many other professionals are required BY LAW to report sexual abuse. The penalty for not reporting sexual abuse include fines and JAIL TIME. This is no small thing. 

Notice that Steve and James choose not to name names here. Maybe one or both of them were victims? They obviously know which of the other high-ranking ICOC leaders were on the receiving end of this abuse, and clearly know the identities of at least some of them who then went on to sexually abuse others. 

What does three generations look like? 

Chuck Lucas (who was Kip McKean's "spiritual father" and the original founder of the ministry that became the International Churches of Christ (ICOC) and the International Christian Churches (ICC), grooms leaders much younger than himself. He trains them for ministry duties. Once he has their confidence, he sexually seduces them. Chuck has gay sex with them, consensually or nonconsensually. There was obviously a power dynamic that was in play, with Chuck the much more powerful person in each sexual encounter. This happens with Chuck sexually abusing one up-and-coming ministry leader after another. That is generation one. 

Generation two: Leaders who were sexually abused by Chuck Lucas go on to become leaders in the ICOC. Some of these leaders go on to sexually abuse others in the church. 

Generation THREE: At least one person, possibly more, that Steve Johnson and James Lloyd clearly seem to know about and feel confident enough about it in order to discuss in a public podcast, who was abused by one of those secondary ICOC leaders, then went on to sexually abuse yet a new generation of victims. 

Chuck + sex abuse -> ICOC leaders + sex abuse -> 2nd generation of ICOC leaders or members + sex abuse -> 3rd generation of ICOC victims 

Victims become abusers. Then the church works to cover up what has happened to save the ICOC leaders from embarrassment. 

Yes, that would be awkward to know that the "man of God" up at the front of the hotel room pressuring you to give ever more donations to the church had been the victim of, and perpetrator of, sexual abuse as a part of the ministry. 

This reminds me of a story from awhile ago down in Mexico City. 

The lead evangelist of the Mexico City ICOC was found to be using church money to rent an apartment for the purpose of having sex with other men. 

When the other church leaders found out about this they swiftly took action! 

Per the pattern that we are now learning was pervasive in the ICOC, church leaders acted quickly to suppress the story. The leader in question, Josue Ortega, quietly stepped down for unspecified "leadership sins" and was shipped off to lead a smaller congregation in Costa Rica. 

Josue Ortega had been put into place by the previous lead evangelist of the Mexico City ICOC, Peter/Pedro Garcia. Pedro Garcia was Kip McKean's brother-in-law, brother of Kip's wife, Elena Garcia McKean. 

Pedro Garcia was around from the early days so could have been a victim of abuse by Chuck Lucas. (Witnesses have stated that Kip publicly admitted, in a rare moment of weakness and defeat, to being one of Chuck Lucas' sex abuse victims himself.) 

Josue Ortega was pretty clearly gay. I mean, if you ever talked to him you could tell pretty much immediately. (I could tell at least!) And members of the Mexico City ICOC would whisper about how it was odd that he was the lead evangelist and throw off so may gay vibes. Additionally, multiple other top leaders in the Mexico ICOC seem pretty clearly gay. The fact that a decent percentage of the top leaders who are two levels away from Chuck Lucas are pretty clearly gay suggests that they had qualities that their higher-ups were looking for, possibly in more than one sense. At the least it clearly seems to fit into the pattern of ICOC and leadership gay sex improprieties described above. 

(If you do not know which leaders in the Mexico City ICOC that I am talking about who seem to be gay, just talk to any long-standing members there. They will be able to tell you! This is not to speak negatively about homosexuality or homosexuals. But we can point out that these poor folks are now forced into heterosexual marriages now and then doing things like having sex with men on the side, in all likelihood without the knowledge or consent of their wives.) 

So not to get completely distracted from the greater picture of passed-through-three-generations gay sex abuse among central ICOC leaders that Steve Johnson and friend were discussing, but there is more to the Josue Ortega story as well. 

After Josue was "outed" and relocated to Costa Rica, there was a disciple (ICOC church member) who was talking about what happened. Somehow somebody in Costa Rica heard about this and then this disciple started receiving multiple anonymous death threats through the Internet with the IP address tracking back to Costa Rica. So a smoking gun pointing at Josue Ortega trying to silence people talking about what he got caught doing. Sadly that general dynamic is not far from standard operating tactics of the ICOC as demonstrated by other leaders including Kip McKean who are willing to use threats and bullying in order to get their way (talking from personal experience with Kip here.) 

Thankfully I found out about this situation and am therefore able to make it known to a larger audience. Just imagine if I had contact with every last corner of the ICOC and ICC and could publish all the crazy stories that are out there? 

So the recent revelations that Kip McKean worked consciously and deliberately to silence sex abuse victims within the ICOC and ICC looks even worse now (were that possible) that we are aware of the centrality of sexual abuse that went back to the very beginning of the movement and then is now known to have traveled down through THREE GENERATIONS of abuse victims. 

Jan 11, 2023

Breaking News: ICC/ICOC Rape & Child Sex Abuse Cases Go to Court - Under Kip McKean, ICOC & ICC Leaders Protected Rapists, Blamed Victims!

I wish I could say it was my pleasure, but it isn't. The going to court part is good, but the sickening abuse that is the reason for the court cases far outweighs anything else. 

Rolling Stone picked up the story first: 

Not Your ‘Church Next Door’: ‘Cult’ Ignored Abuse, Ran ‘Pyramid Scheme,’ Lawsuit Claims (Rolling Stone) 

Five women sue Christian organizations - the International Churches of Christ - for 'covering up child sexual abuse and exerting financial pressure on member to the extent that some killed themselves' (Daily Mail UK)

(Since publishing the number of plaintiffs has increased from five to over 20.)

Basically, in a pattern described previously in this blog, both ICOC and ICC leadership is accused of not turning over pedophiles to the authorities. In multiple instances outlined in the suits, adults in leadership capacity roles in Kip McKean's ministries raped or otherwise sexually assaulted teens and children as young as three years old. (I currently have a three-year-old and my stomach is sick as I write this.) Then, when these abuses were made known to other church leaders, the church chose to protect the abusers rather than report them to the police as the law and common decency required. 

And to add insult to injury, church leaders victim-shamed underage victims of statutory rape, treating them as the guilty party instead of as victims. In one case leaders repeatedly called the girl a "slut". (So much for Kip's teaching that "sin is sin" and all equally bad in the eyes of God.) 

We know that these several persons who have come forward are a tiny, tiny fraction of the total number of victims. 

If you were in the ICOC years ago, you might remember the claims that the church made frequently as one of it's great selling points: While other churches and organizations have had sexual scandals, we were told, the ICOC has remained completely devoid of any such issues. Well, now it is being made publicly known that this claim was false. There WERE sexual abuse scandals. What's more, the scandals have been there since the very beginning of the Boston Movement and then forever since. 

However, in a Machiavellian turn, church leaders chose to handle them "internally." This meant trying to keep anyone from knowing what happened, even if it meant protecting the abuser and preventing the abuser from having legal consequences. 

As a result of these policies, and yes, at this point we can clearly call them policies, at least one perpetrator of abuse went on to continue sexually abusing children and is now in prison for raping another child later on. Plus how many other children did that one person mortally damage for life, who we might never even know about?

The saddest part of this is that hiding sexual abuse seems to have been planned from the start. There was sexual abuse and cover-up even in the earliest days of the church group that later led to the ICOC and the ICC. 

The first big scandal was from Chuck Lucas, the leader of the campus ministry where Kip McKean was converted to his toxic version of Christianity. Chuck had sex with multiple campus students. (Whispered and unverified rumors suggest that many years later, Kip McKean publicly confessed to have been one of those students.) That scandal broke open and Chuck had to resign from the ministry. This was devastating for the group and certainly hindered their efforts to win new converts. Many people have heard about that scandal, inside and outside of the group. 

Kip and his associates apparently learned from that experience - that sexual scandal can quickly make them famous in the worst way. 

The next time there was a big sexual scandal they made sure that it was kept quiet. This time, it was another big leader who was caught having sex with multiple members of the congregation. However, it was in the teen ministry. The adult male leader had sex with multiple underage teen girls. He committed statutory rape with multiple victims. In some circles, that would brand him a serial rapist. He might go to court, go to jail, and be placed on a list so that he would have to forever register his whereabouts for the protection of the most vulnerable around him. 

However, in the circles of Kip McKean's ministries, that man did not go to court. He did not go to jail. He did not get placed on any sex offender lists. 

Kip and other ministry leadership decided to try to keep that scandal as quiet as possible. They did not turn the leader over to the police. They did not even force him to resign from leadership. 

What they did do was pay money to the victims on the condition that they sign a non-disclosure agreement. That means they are bound to not disclose what had happened. 

And that leader?

Kip later promoted that rapist up to the highest levels of church leadership, even World Sector Leader (WSL)! 

World Sector Leaders were the highest level of leadership in the ICOC below Kip himself. The WSLs were presented as paragons of virtue in ICOC propaganda videos (Kingdom News Network) and in other ICOC materials. 

The rapist, who shall remain nameless for reasons that will soon become clear, has continued to enjoy a high level of protection from consequences for his past deeds. A few years ago, I published an article naming names. At that time, a few Google searches could lead any interested party to publicly available Internet discussions where multiple people discussed what happened and the person in question. 

However, that person, in his position of well-paid church leadership and notoriety, had the resources to have a fancy big law firm send me a sufficiently threatening letter to my home address. Being a person of more modest means and not in a position to undergo a legal battle with high-powered lawyers, I took the article down. 

But the point here is not that single perpetrator. The point here is the system of abuse. The system puts the rights, needs, and wants of church leadership over and above those of church members, in the grossest of terms. 

This was a dynamic that I saw first-hand as a member of the ICOC and later, the ICC. "Rank-and-file" members were held to one standard, while leadership enjoyed an entirely different one. There was always a power dynamic at play. There was no servant leadership - the members were there to serve the leaders. 

Kip loves appearances. Anything he touches has an element of show. Now it is finally becoming public knowledge that this extends to the pretense of moral superiority that he wrapped himself and his organizations in. If you can't be moral, then by God, you better appear to be moral. And when the two are in conflict, it is much better to appear moral rather than be moral. So naturally he and the organizations he ran protected abusers rather than turn them in. 

What was a failure for truth and justice was a win for Kip. Anyone who was guilty of such widely condemnable acts and who remained under Kip's direction became indebted to Kip for their continued position. Everyone in the ICOC/ICC knew the "drips" of negative information of anyone who left the church suffered. Church leaders waste no time in publicly slandering anyone who has left the organization, often with a mixture of truth and lies. I saw it a hundred times and then suffered it myself when I left. Anything I had ever done wrong plus a list of things that were a figment of someone's malicious imagination. If that WSL had a differing opinion than Kip's, better keep it quiet rather than be very publicly exposed. 

I also witnessed firsthand that Kip utterly does not care about the righteousness of people working for him. When I had complaints against a paid staff member who was a pathological liar and who I had allowed to become indebted to me for a few thousand dollars, I met with Kip and the leader to iron it out. It was more than abundantly clear that Kip's one and only priority was to find the leader faultless and to quell discontent in the "disgruntled member." And no, Kip did not do anything whatsoever to get the leader to repay me, or have the church step into the gap. Which in hindsight makes sense, because the church is always interested in parting its members from their money as a primary aim. 

Kip literally did not care if I got screwed over by the leader who was working for him. He just wanted me to not be too upset about it.

Kip and those under his leadership continue to follow the same pattern: right no wrongs done by leaders. Protect the leaders, as long as they continue to do whatever Kip orders them to do. Place the needs of church leaders completely above those of church members and the public. Throw away the victims of the church's abuses like crumpled up wads of paper trash, and then talk about them like trash to their faces and to their backs as soon as they leave.  

Hopefully these lawsuits will be the first of many more to come. And more importantly, hopefully these lawsuits will somehow help prevent other kids from being abused. 

Jan 9, 2023

Leaving Kip McKean's Church: Ten Years Later

 I finally left the ICC in 2012, ten years ago. 

The final straw, after enduring years of emotional manipulation and abuse in ICOC and ICC congregations in several cities, was when I had my second child. 

I knew in my heart that there was no way in HELL that I wanted my children to grow up in the environment that I had lived in for the preceding 15 years. 

The church had done an excellent job at conditioning me to be afraid to leave. All of my friends were in the church, since as part of joining the cult I had to pretty much cut off any close relationship outside of the group. 

Since leaving the ICC and ICOC, I have gone back to school to get a series of nursing degrees: RN BSN and then nurse practitioner. 

My years of abuse continue to echo in my mind. 

I try not to think about it. I focus my attention on positive things in the present and hopes for my future. 

It's kind of embarrassing to look back and know that I fell for everything at all, and that I fell for it for so long. But humans are stubborn (or at least I am). So once I went down the wrong path it was very hard for me to steer away from it. I mean, when I got baptized I swore that I would remain in the church until my death! That is no small thing. 

So do I regret leaving Kip's church? 

Not for one second. 

I DO regret taking as long as I did to leave though. 

The fifteen years wasted .. burned out of my life, forever. My prime years of youth and vitality. Donated to a cynical and corrupt man and system who immediately threw me away like a piece of trash the moment it was clear they could wring no more value from me. And then trash-talked me to all of my friends and acquaintences in the church about what a terrible person I was. Not because they cared about me at all. Only because they wanted to continue to wring money and whatever else from all of them, and the last thing they wanted was for anyone else to wake up and leave the fold. 

But they say that when life gives you lemons .. make lemonade. 

So after going through all that trauma, it allowed me to relate with other people who had also suffered. 

When I went to nursing school, I figured I would get a job working in an ER somewhere. However, I discovered psychiatric nursing - something that I literally did not even know existed before I started nursing school. 

I was one of the tiny minority of nursing students who felt right at home in psych. 

I went into psychiatric nursing straight from graduation, landng a very well-paying job. Then with the encouragement of my boss and mentors, I went back to school to become a pschiatric nurse practitioner. Now I work from home making four times more per year than I ever did while in the church, while working way, way fewer hours. 

As a grown man, I enjoy not having to endure stupid, ridiculous "advice" ordering me around from anyone in the church. (Oh, they had me indoctrinated very well. I was convinced that it was a spiritual virtue to be humble and directable and do what other people told me to do. I wish I could reach every single other person in that position now and somehow help them to realize that the church truly does NOT care about them. Very sadly and bitterly true, and verified so many times by so many people - the church cares about its leaders, its income, and its image. Individual members are resources to be used up and then discarded the way corporate America does or the way a narcissist does.) 

I enjoy not having to do the mental summersaults to try to continue convincing myself that the beliefs of the church could somehow make some sort of sense. 

I enjoy not living in fear. Fear of failing. Fear of not living up. 

Is anything that you ever do in the ICC or ICOC ever good enough? 

I enjoy no longer feeling that I am being emotionally manipulated. 

I enjoy not having to endure eternal sermons about how I need to sacrifice even more money. Money that overwhelmingly goes to support extremely comfortable lifestyles for the organization's top leaders. 

If you are a member, do you realize that over 90% of all your donations goes to pay for staff salary and perks? The church as a whole could hire triple the number of staff, or more, and have them live reasonably well-off. They demand that YOU make the sacrifice, so that THEY can spend it on themselves. You can see it in all but the very smallest congregations - the evangelist makes more money than any other person in the entire church, except for, in some cases, possibly one exceptionally wealthy member. Is that anything like Jesus' example, or that of Paul or any of the other apostles? No, of course it is not - it is the complete opposite. And so much of your effort goes to that offering, and special contribution. You know that the often-touted "rent for this room we are in" is something like 3% of the contributions right? And "giving to the poor" is literally 1% of the church's contribution. One freaking percent to be spread among possibly dozens or hundreds of people, while ~90% goes to the lead evangelist couple. Sick. 

So yes, I am glad to not be constantly scammed out of my time and my money. Glad to not be lied to. Glad to not be the annoying religious person at work, family gatherings, or other. 

I am glad to have my life back. 

And yes, I am very, very glad that my children are not growing up in that place. 

Kip's Shorts: Kip McKean, Character Assassination and the ICC

This post was written awhile ago and is now being published in light of the court cases alleging rampant, covered-up child sexual abuse under Kip McKean's leadership

Disclaimer: I was not present for the following evets so can not vouch for the veracity in an absolute sense like I can for my experiences where Kip McKean and friends threatened and tried to destroy my family. This story was told by leaders of the LAICC after Kip left a leadership position in the ICOC. It is ironic because Kip himself was one of the promoters of the technique of trash-talking members as soon as they have left the church as a way of preventing church members from paying any attention to what that person said. That's some karma! 

So it is possible that the church leaders who told this story were lying in whole or in part in order to discredit Kip. To me it sounds real but you can be the judge. 

Here is the story they told: 

During his time leading the Los Angeles International Church of Christ, Kip McKean would go running, and then have a female intern give him a rub him down massage afterward.

While that is weird enough in itself, it gets worse. Kip would be shirtless. He would also be wearing very short shorts. And Kip would not be wearing any underwear.

So certain parts of his anatomy (read: his testicles and possibly his penis) would spill out of his shorts and be visible to the unfortunate low-paid church intern whose job it was to give “God’s greatest living treasure” his massage.

After a certain number of times of this happening, the girl was freaked out enough to seek help from other leaders. She threatened to make the situation public if it wasn’t corrected.

The leaders kicked into overdrive to try to keep a very tight lid on what could very easily have escalated into a public relations nightmare for the church and "the movement". I don't know the methods they used, but the girl was motivated to keep quiet and presumably Kip learned to keep himself covered.

The story was held “close to the chest” by those aware of it, but then allowed to “leak” later on so that it could be used to dissuade people from yanking over from the ICOC to the ICC.

Did the ICOC leaders make it up? Possibly. But it is oddly specific. And I think if I were going to make up a story I would make up something else even more dramatic. 

If Kip did act super creepy like this (although it does not sound illegal) and the ICOC did act to cover it up for him, that would be right in line with the many accusations which are currently going through the court system from different victims of sexual crimes by church leaders that the church helped cover up for the benefit of the leader and to the additional harm of the victim. 

“What happens in the darkness will be shown in the light.” 

If provided with substantive evidence that this story is not correct, this post will be updated to reflect that.